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CERTHIA SparkPoints: (21,705)
Fitness Minutes: (15,747)
Posts: 763
9/9/13 4:59 A

Hi SOCAL_LEE,
Hmm, yes I have noticed a similar thing when logging my walks for work. I guess it is the difference of light jogging/brisk walking and taking a stroll. I have also noticed that when mapping my routes it is not very accurate in calculating distances, as it seems it considers everything flatland.

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (21,705)
Fitness Minutes: (15,747)
Posts: 763
9/9/13 4:48 A

Hi motivated@last;
Yes, your explanation makes sense. Thank you for taking the time to reply. After wrapping my head around it I realized the number was not that outrageous, and probably an underestimation.

It is just hard to think I was burning THAT many calories when at the time it did not feel like I was working out, you know. Hiking just feels so relaxing and fun. Especially when the weather is perfect! I am feeling the burn today however..


SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (33,030)
Fitness Minutes: (70,837)
Posts: 246
9/8/13 10:36 P

The tracker does some surprising things. I run regularly. When I enter 5 miles at 57 minutes, it tells me I've burned over 500 calories. When I enter 5 miles at 59 minutes, it tells me I've burned a little over 300 calories. Hmmm, really? I take it all with a big pinch of salt.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,108
9/8/13 8:22 P

Spark's exercise tracker assumes continuous activity, and you are smart to wind your 3 hours back to 2 hours to allow for breaks, etc.

Yes, Spark does take into account your own bodyweight (from your most recent weigh-in).

A very rough rule of thumb is that you burn about 100 calories per mile walked on level ground. Hiking tends to burn significantly more than this on a per mile basis. Each vertical foot gained is about equivalent in effort to 8 horizontal feet. Even a sideways tilted path without a climb (eg. going round the side of a hill) involves your muscles working significantly harder to keep you upright and balanced.

Another rough guide is that you burn between 6 and 10 calories per minute while exercising. 6 at the more moderate end, 10 at the higher end. Walking would generally be moderate, and if you were getting winded on the climbs, an overall average of 7 per minute seems pretty reasonable. 400 calories per hour, or 800 for 2 hours of active hiking seems pretty reasonable.

M@L (regular hiker and backpacker)

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (21,705)
Fitness Minutes: (15,747)
Posts: 763
9/8/13 5:57 P

Yes, I am considering getting a gadget. Not because I am that obsessive, but because they seem like a fun and interesting thing to use.

I was just so very surprised by the number of calories burned when I first tracked. I now re-logged it as 90 min hiking and 90 min walking and ended up closer to 900 calories. This still sounds like a such a high number to me, but maybe it really isn't that unrealistic?

NEWMEXICOPARROT Posts: 200
9/8/13 5:49 P

I am one of those OCD people and like to know how many calories I burn pretty accurately. If you can afford it a garmin watch is awesome for this. Sometimes I leave it at home however just to enjoy the activity itself and not feel I have to push for a number of calories to burn. I know....OCD.

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (21,705)
Fitness Minutes: (15,747)
Posts: 763
9/8/13 5:42 P

Thank you! I would guess this would be a mixture? Some flatish nice gravel paths, but also lots of narrow paths riddled in roots, some wading in bushes and moss, a couple steep narrow trails up cliffs and a few places where we had no trails at all through the forest pushing through the thicket, bending under branches and climbing over fallen trees. I did not carry anything besides having my 4 year old on my back some of the way.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (74,457)
Fitness Minutes: (62,451)
Posts: 2,489
9/8/13 5:29 P

Yes, Spark uses your weight and gender when calculating your calories burned. If you feel you were not working very hard during the hike; a slow pace, on flat surface, no backpack, etc. I would just track it as "walking". I "hike" but it's generally flat, manicured, nature paths and we stop here and there to look at stuff.

My heart rate reaches the same rate as it would for regular walking. I just track them as walking at a slower pace; 2.5-3 miles/hour this matches the average heart rate my pedometer gives me. I burn around 140-180 cals/hour. However, I don't find myself winded. My average heart rate is around 80-85 bpm. So it's possible you are burning more than you think. A heart rate monitor or even a pedometer watch is a good buy to get a better estimate of how many cals you're burning.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/8/2013 (17:38)
CERTHIA SparkPoints: (21,705)
Fitness Minutes: (15,747)
Posts: 763
9/8/13 4:10 P

Hi,
I am a fairly short lady. I have been tracking my hike in the tracker today and it calculates almost 800 calories burned on a 2 hour hike. (Granted we ended up hiking for closer to 3 hours. I pre-tracked and could not get myself to add to it after reading the 2 hour calculation.) My gut feeling is this can't possible be correct, I am thinking this has to be a huge overestimation, but I may be wrong.

Does the SP fitness tracker take my weight into the equation, or will it calculate calories burned using general estimates based on an average male? I did break a sweat at times, and even got a tad winded up the steepest climbs, but I am still pretty sure I burned much less than 800 calories, and nowhere near 1200.

Any input would be much appreciated.

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 9/8/2013 (17:00)
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